June 2005 > Sports > Baseball Memorabilia
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Lot 388: Two Exceptional Hiram Bithorne Photos
The legacy and demise of Hiram Bithorn is perfectly symbolized by these 2 photos of the man who paved the way for Puerto Ricans to play in the big leagues. The 1st native to make it to the bigs, Bithorn pitched 4 seasons with the Cubs and White Sox in the '40s, going 34-31 before arm trouble finished him, though he kept playing for the San Juan Senadores, whose uniform he wears in both shots, an 8 x10 of him unfurling a pitch with a high leg kick and a 6 x 9 of the '53-'54 "City Champs" in which he looks god-like in a photo dwarfing the others. In the latter, Bithorn is smiling but with dark storm clouds looming behind him, prefacing his violent end a year later when he was shot to death by a cop in Mexico, the circumstances of which are still murky. The San Juan Stadium was later renamed for him. 1st photo EX+, 2nd NRMT.
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